14 Days / 13 Nights: Cape Town, Kruger National Park, Johannesburg, Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park
Feb 6 - Feb 19, 2015
Day 1 - Feb 6Friday: New York / Johannesburg
Depart from New York (JFK) this morning on board South African Airlines for Cape Town via Johannesburg.
SA #204 – New York JFK / Johannesburg JNB – 10:40am-8:30am + 1 day
Day 2 - Feb 7Saturday: Johannesburg / Cape Town (D)
SA #323 – Johannesburg JNB / Cape Town CPT – 10:05am-12:15pm
On arrival at Cape Town International Airport guests will be met by a SITA World Tours representative who will assist guests to the vehicle. Transfer to the hotel. Complete check in formalities and proceed to allocated rooms. A welcome dinner will be served at the hotel. Protea President Hotel
One of the world's most picturesque tourist destinations and most beautiful cities in the world. Cape Town is situated amidst majestic mountains and is surrounded by pristine white beaches. Often called the 'cosmopolitan hub of Africa', it is home to a rich cultural and historical heritage, vibrant restaurants and nightlife and a multitude of activities - from extreme sports to leisurely scenic cruises and world-class shopping.
Day 3 – Feb 8Sunday: Cape Town (BLD)
Breakfast will be served at the hotel.Guests will then depart on an informative Cape Town city tour. Highlights of this tour included the District Six Museum, Cape Castle and Table Mountain (Weather permitting). We will drive past Parliament Buildings, City Hall and the Slave Lodge, and you'll sense the depth of history in their distinctive architecture.
District Six Museum
District Six was named the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town in 1867. Originally established as a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants, District Six was a vibrant centre with close links to the city and the port. By the beginning of the twentieth century, however, the history of removals and marginalisation had begun. The first to be 'resettled' were black South Africans, forcibly displaced from the District in 1901. As the more prosperous moved away to the suburbs, the area became the neglected ward of Cape Town. In 1966, it was declared a white area under the Group areas Act of 1950, and by 1982, the life of the community was over. 60 000 people were forcibly removed to barren outlying areas aptly known as the Cape Flats, and their houses in District Six were flattened by bulldozers. The District Six Museum, established in December 1994, works with the memories of these experiences and with the history of forced removals more generally.
Built by the Dutch in 1666 after arrival, the Castle was erected as a 5 pointed star on the foreshore of Cape Town. It is today surrounded by a variety of other monuments and places of historical interest. The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving building in South Africa. Built between 1666 and 1679, this pentagonal fortification replaced a small clay and timber fort built by Commander Jan van Riebeeck in 1652 upon establishing a maritime replenishment station art the Cape of Good Hope for the Dutch East India Company, better known as the VOC (Verenigde Oos-Indische Compagnie). The Cape of Good Hope houses the regional headquarters of the South African Army in the Western Cape, the famous William Fehr Collection of historic artworks, the Castle Military Museum and ceremonial facilities for traditional Cape Regiments.
Table Mountain (weather permitting)
Since the first person laid eyes on Table Mountain, it has exerted its powerful and charismatic pull, enchanting and drawing any and all who fall under its spell. The best views of Cape Town are seen from the top of Table Mountain. The Cableway summit is under 10 minutes and the cable car's rotating floor ensures that all passengers have an aerial view of the city. Table Mountain is a sandstone plateau rising up above the Cape Flats. The top is approximately 3km wide, and at its highest point, Maclears Beacon, rises to 1085m. Over the centuries it has become one of South Africa's most famous landmarks. The steep cliffs and rocky outcrops of the mountain play home to a number of plants and animals. The mountain is home to approximately 1470 species of plants; more than the entire British Isles! Complimenting this vast array of flora is a stunning range of fauna, some, like the Table Mountain Ghost Frog, being found in no other place in the world.
Robben Island Tour (weather permitting)
After lunch transfer to the ferry departure point. The standard tour to Robben Island is 3.5 hours long, including the return ferry ride which is approximately 30 minutes each way.Ferry departure times is at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm (weather permitting).
For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, 12 kilometres from Cape Town, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the Island and its prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. Some freedom fighters spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for their beliefs. Those imprisoned on the Island succeeded on a psychological and political level in turning a prison 'hell-hole' into a symbol of freedom and personal liberation. Robben Island came to symbolise, not only for South Africa and the African continent, but also for the entire world, the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship and adversity.
Later tonight we will enjoy dinner at Gold Restaurant followed by a interactive drumming session.Gold Restaurant is a vibrant, eclectic Pan-African experience in the heart of Cape Town. You will enjoy a night of opulent feasting with a unique bouquet of live entertainment in a mystical African setting of trees and tents in an inner city courtyard steeped in ancient history and gold.
A typical evening at Gold Restaurant starts off with the drumbeat of the djembe drum. An interactive drum circle offers you the opportunity to join in and learn how to play the djembe. Soon you will be pounding your drum to the rhythms and sounds of Africa. After pounding the skins of the drums, we will soothe your hands in a traditional hand washing ceremony as you are led into the ancient courtyards. Cuisine from our Cape Malay and African kitchen which is served by the magnificently adorned staff bearing your banquet in baskets perched on their heads. While you enjoy the vast variety of different dishes, you will be captivated as the live extravaganza takes place around your table.
Day 4 – Feb 9 Monday: Cape Town (BL)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
These gardens are world-renowned for the beauty and diversity of the Cape flora it displays and for the magnificence of its setting against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Kirstenbosch grows only indigenous South African plants. The estate covers 528 hectares and supports a diverse fynbos flora and natural forest. The cultivated garden (36 hectares) displays collections of South African plants, particularly those from the winter rainfall region of the country.
Lunch in the charming town of Stellenbosch and a wine tasting at a local wine estate.
After breakfast guests will be collected from their hotel departing o Graceland preschool is an educational project of theThembalitsha Foundation, situated in Stellenbosch, Cape Winelands.
Graceland pre-school offers hope by providing quality preschool education tovulnerable little ones who would otherwise have nowhere else to go. Our early childhood development programme aims to prepare and stimulate these pre-schoolers in order to maximise their future success at school and in life. We are one of the few centres registered to care for the children of farm workers with the Department of Social Development.
Day 5 – Feb 10 Tuesday: Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour (BLD)
We will be met by the guide at the hotel and travel via the 12 Apostles and Hout Bay, as well as Chapmans Peak (dependant on the road being open) – one of the region's most dramatic mountain drives offering amazing panoramic views over the city and environs.
Chapman's Peak Drive
Chapman's Peak Drive winds it way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay. Situated on the Atlantic Coast, at the south-western tip of South Africa, it is one of the most spectacular marine drives anywhere in the world. The 9km route, with its 114 curves, skirts the rocky coastline of Chapman's Peak, the 593m high southerly extension of Constantia Berg. The drive offers stunning 180° views over the ocean and mountains with Hout Bay in the distance.
Continue to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, established in 1939 to protect 7750 ha of indigenous flora and fauna. The reserve comes to an end at majestic Cape Point. Situated at the junction of two of earth's most contrasting water masses - the cold Benguela current on the West Coast and the warm Agulhas current on the East Coast, the Cape of Good Hope is popularly perceived as the meeting point of the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. Guests will take the funicular to the vantage point from where they will be able to witness the "meeting of the two oceans".
Afterwards continue to Simon's Town where the group will enjoy lunch.
After lunch, travel through the historic naval base of Simon's Town where we will be able to visit a colony of African Penguins in their natural environment at Boulders Beach.
Boulders Beach is a sheltered beach made up of inlets between granite boulders, from which the name originated. It is located in the Cape Peninsula near Simon's Town towards Cape Point near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is also commonly known as Boulders Bay. It is a popular tourist stop because of a colony of African Penguins which settled there in 1982. Boulders Beach forms part of the Table Mountain National Park. Although set in the midst of a residential area, it is one of the few sites where this vulnerable bird can be observed at close range, wandering freely in a protected natural environment. From just two breeding pairs in 1982, the penguin colony has grown to about 3000 in recent years. This is partly due to the reduction in commercial pelagic trawling in False Bay, which has increased the supply of pilchards and anchovy, which form part of the penguins' diet.
Afterwards return to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax at the hotel or maybe do some shopping at the V&A Waterfront.
Tonight the group will enjoy a truly unique South African experience. We will be transferred to nearby Hout Bay where we will have a typical home braai at a local home. This will be an excellent opportunity to mingle with the locals.
Day 6 – Feb 11 Wednesday: Cape Town / Hoedspruit(BD)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.The groupwill be met by an English speaking driver/ guide and transfered to Cape Town International Airport for the flight to Hoedspruit Airport.
SA #316 – Capetown CPT / Johannesburg JNB – 8:50 AM – 10:50 AM
SA #1227 –Johannesburg JNB / Hoedspruit HDS – 12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
On arrival at Hoedspruit Airport the group will be met and transferred by road to KAPAMA RIVER LODGE.
Kapama River Lodge
Kapama River Lodge is situated within Kapama Game Reserve, and presents the perfect blend between luxurious safari accommodation and a generous bed capacity of 64 bedrooms. Although large, it is so stylish and roomy and beautifully positioned along a dry riverbed, that guests fall in love with it. Each spacious room at Kapama River Lodge features a full en-suite bathroom and terrace with uninterrupted views into the leafy-green Big 5 game reserve. The central guest entertainment areas include a large rim-flow swimming pool, the long L-shaped lounge and bar, curves around the pool. The Rhino Boma dining area with tables arranged under a low thatch in a horseshoe curve, has a central open space where a roaring outdoor fire gives a glow to evening meals. Buffet-style meals introduce African flavours with Pan African dishes using fresh local ingredients and specialist dishes featuring venison like kudu and impala.
We will enjoy an afternoon game drive with the lodge with the English speaking ranger, followed by dinner at the lodge.
Day7&8 – Feb 12 & Feb 13 (Thu/Fri.): Kapama Private Game Reserve (BLD)
Those that indicate that they would like to do the morning drive will be given a wakeup call. Tea and coffee will be served before departing on the morning game drive. The fresh morning air on an open game drive and the possibility of viewing the big 5 closely makes this an awesome and unforgettable experience.
Once we have returned from their morning drive, a sumptuous breakfast is served.
Lunch is served at around 1 PM after which we willhave a chance to relax.
This afternoon, enjoy game drive, followed by dinner at the lodge.
Day 9 – Feb 14 Saturday: Depart Greater Kruger Region/ Johannesburg (BL)
If time permits, we arise early for a morning game drive. Following breakfast, we will check out and transfer to Hoedspruit Airport for the flight to Johannesburg.
SA #126 – Hoedspruit HDS / Johannesburg JNB – 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM.
Upon arrival enjoy a quick lunch at local restaurant. After lunch, we will depart on a half day Soweto tour which includes a visit to Nelson Mandela House.
Half Day Soweto Tour
Soweto (SOuth WEstern TOwnship), is the largest black residential area in South Africa, guests will see a fascinating contrast to Sandton and Rosebank in the north east. This "city within a city" consists of 50 suburbs, or sections and our tour route takes us to all the major points of interest. Highlights of this tour included: a fascinating glimpse of bustling neighbourhood life; two Nobel Prize winners previous residences; the Hector Peterson Memorial & Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. Guests will also go on a guided tour of the Hector Pieterson museum where they will embark on a journey of discovery of the racial segregation experienced by millions of South Africans just over a decade ago. The Soweto uprising, the history of the ANC, solitary confinement of political prisoners and the birth of a new democratic country are detailed.
Regina Mundi Church
Regina Mundi is the largest Roman Catholic Church in South Africa. The Latin 'Reginae Mundi' means "Queen of the World" and refer to the Virgin Mary. The church was built in 1961 and official opened on the 24th of July 1962 by Johannes Baptista Montini, a cardinal of Milan. Located in the middle of Soweto, in Rockville, in the neighbourhood of Moroka, from afar you're greeted by the A-shaped exterior of the building which is quite ordinary in design. Its main feature is the vast interior that can accommodate as much as 2000-5000 people.
Nelson Mandela House
Nelson Mandela's humble house in Orlando West, Soweto, now called the Mandela Family Museum, is an interesting stopover for those keen to imbibe a slice of authentic history on the world's most famous former prisoner. The museum, a house comprising four inter-leading rooms, contains a rather higgledy-piggledy assortment of memorabilia, paintings and photographs of the Mandela family as well as a collection of honorary doctorates bestowed on Nelson Mandela from universities and institutions around the world. The matchbox home, at 8115 Ngakane Street, was Mandela's first house. He moved there with his first wife Evelyn Ntoko Mase in 1946. After their divorce in 1957, she moved out. When Mandela married Winnie Madikizela in 1958, she joined him at the Soweto home. However, during the ensuing years when his life as a freedom fighter was all-consuming, Mandela seldom stayed there. He was the "Black Pimpernel", living life on the run, until his arrest and imprisonment in 1962. When he was released, Mandela wanted only to return to the house of his memories. However, after his release, he stayed there for a mere 11 days, as he was moved around from one location to the next until he settled into his Houghton residence.
After the tour proceed to the hotel for check in.PEERMONT D'OREALE GRANDE HOTEL
The remainder of the day will be spent at leisure.
Day 10– Feb 15 Sunday: Johannesburg / Victoria Falls (BD)
Folowing breakfast we will transferfrom the hotel to O R Tambo International Airport for the flight to Victoria Falls.
SA #040 – Johannesburg JNB / Victoria Falls VFA – 10:50 AM – 12:35 PM.
Arrival in Victoria Falls
On arrival at Victoria Falls Airport the group will be metand transferred to the hotel.
The Victoria Falls constitutes one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. The Local people call it "Mosi-oa-Tunya" -- the smoke that thunders and the Falls are remarkable. There is a magic about them manifested in the towering column of spray when the river is high, the thunder of the falling water, the terrifying abyss and tranquil lagoons upstream in which hippo and deadly crocodiles lurk. The Victoria Falls is 1 708 meters wide, making it the largest curtain of water in the world. It drops between 90m and 107m into the Zambezi Gorge and an average of 550,000 cubic metres of water plummet over the edge every minute. Remarkably preserved in its natural state, Victoria Falls inspires visitors as much today as it did David Livingstone in the 1860's. The falls and the surrounding area have been declared National Parks and a World Heritage Site, thus preserving the area from excessive commercialisation
Complete check in Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Set high on a natural plateau, the westward facing Victoria Falls Safari Lodge borders the Zambezi National Park and is just four kilometers from the thundering Victoria Falls, Southern Africa's foremost attraction.Enjoying uninterrupted views of spectacular African sunsets and year round game at its on-site waterhole, the Lodge is ideally positioned to offer the most discerning traveller a taste of Africa at its best. Appointed in the utmost luxury, the Lodge offers outstanding hospitality together with an authentic wildlife experience.
Transfer from the lodge to the mighty Zambezi River for an afternoon sunset cruise. The Zambezi River cruise is a superb way to relax and enjoy the beauty of the river. Guests may have the opportunity to see a variety of game; including hippo, crocodile, elephant and sometimes even rhino in their home environment, as well as enjoy the many different bird species. There are great photo opportunities against often-spectacular African sunsets
Return to the lodge in time for a Boma Dinner at the lodge.
The Boma dinner is a must-do experience, with exuberant cultural songs, dances and an extraordinary traditional meal! This unique dining experience, coupled with a feast of cultural entertainment, is a magical night out to remember. You'll also be tucking into traditional Zimbabwean delicacies for dinner...and for the bravehearts among us, we've a few lightly grilled Mopani worms. Yes, it's a night you won't forget.
Day 11 - Feb 16 Monday: Victoria Falls to Chobe (BD)
Enjoy breakfast at the lodge.Afterwards we breakfast and checkout, we will depart for a Tour of the falls followed by a rural village experience.
Tour to the Falls
The Victoria Falls – now in Its 150 millionth fantastic year, reaches its zenith in about May each year. It's a truly awe-inspiring experience – the sight, the sound, the smell; the humbling feeling that here indeed is Nature's Supreme Masterpiece. No photograph can begin to depict the reality…and nothing prepares you for your first sight.Enjoy a morning tour of the falls. En route, clients may be taken past the 'Big Tree' where they may stop and take photos. We will be accompanied through the Rainforest by a qualified Guide who will give a brief history of the Falls themselves as well as detailing the flora, fauna, bird & wildlife and other points of interest. Raincoats are provided when needed.
Meet the People Tour
Clients are taken to an authentic rural village approximately 20km from Victoria Falls town where they are given the opportunity to watch local villagers going about their daily tasks. The tour enables the client to see rural life first hand; visiting rural homes, watching their fields being tended and possibly getting the chance to help in some of the day-to-day chores.Guests are able to gain an insight into Zimbabwean rural life. This enables visitors to understand the cultural aspect of this life style and allows them to interact with different cultures, often for the first time. This is a good experience for children.
We will then transfer to Botswana and Chobe.Upon arrival in Botswana and the Chobe area we will check in at the lodge. MOWANA SAFARI LODGE
Mowana Safari Lodge
Mowana Safari Lodge lies on the banks of the Chobe river, where four African countries (Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe) meet. At this point the Chobe and Zambezi rivers converge – the Zambezi river being the home of the NyamiNyami (or river god). So if you want to learn more about African myths and legends, the Chobe area around the Mowana Safari Lodge is the place to visit!The Chobe Game Reserve is famous for its enormous elephant population – it is said that 45 000 of these interesting creatures roam the plains of Chobe. They share the area of almost 10 000 square kilometers with lion, leopard, giraffe, cheetah, buffalo, approximately 450 bird species, as well as puku and Chobe bushbuck, which are indigenous to Chobe National Park.
Afternoon river cruise or Game Drive
We will have the opportunity to go on an exciting afternoon river game cruise on the Chobe river.The 3-Hour Sunset River cruise on the Chobe River offers game viewing and the bird life of this incredible area of wild life concentration. The Chobe National Park and Chobe River offers a great opportunity for wildlife, birdlife and reptiles. Explore the magic of Chobe National Park on a Chobe sunset game viewing cruise.
Afterwards we will return to the lodge and have some time to freshen up before dinner is served at the lodge.
Day 12 – Feb 17 Tuesday: Chobe Morning Game Drive (BLD)
Today we will wake up early to enjoy a crisp and refreshing early morning game drive in the park.
With the meandering ChobeRiver on its border, the Chobe National Park has some of the finest game viewing in Africa and one of the biggest concentrations of elephants. It is also notable for huge herds of buffalo and zebras, lechwe, Chobe bushbuck and puku antelope can also be seen. Where there are buffalo, lions are never far away and there is a good chance of seeing large prides who laze around in the shade all day and only yawn themselves awake at dusk. Hyena and leopard also hunt at night while cheetahs are diurnal predators. Chobe is rich in bird life with the Pel's Fishing own a favourite for bird watchers and the peculiar strangely beaked African skimmer another speciality. African fish eagles are common and their distinctive cry is as evocative of the African wilderness as the roar of the lion.
Afterwards breakfast will be served at the lodge.After breakfast we will have the day at leisure. You can relax by the pool or in the lodges lounge. A buffet lunch will also be enjoyed at the lodge.
Afternoon Game drive or River Safari
This afternoon we will have the opportunity to go on an exciting afternoon game activity through the Chobe National Park.
Afterwards we will return to the lodge and have some time to freshen up before dinner is served at the lodge.
Day 13 – Feb 18 Wednesday: Chobe (BLD)
Today we will wake up early to enjoy a crisp and refreshing early morning game drive in the park
Afterwards breakfast will be served at the lodge.Take advantage of the spa today or lounge by the pool.
Day 14 – Feb 19 Thursday: Victoria Falls / Depart(B)
After breakfast complete check out formalities. We will be transferred to Victoria Falls Airport for our return flight to North America
SA #041 – Victoria Falls VFA / Johannesburg JNB –1:25 PM – 3:10 PM
SA #203 –Johannesburg JNB / New York JFK – 8:30 PM – 6:05AM + 1 day
Day 15 - Feb 20 Friday - Arrive New York
Arrive back in North America today, eager to share the excitement of your African safari.